A Word About Natural Birth

Photo credit: Rushes and Waves

Photo credit: Rushes and Waves

‘Natural birth’ is the term used by most people to mean a birth without medical interventions, particularly anesthesia. For many birthing people, choosing a “natural” birth means planning to have their baby in a physiologic way, consistent with the way humans have been giving birth for thousands of years. There are many reasons to plan an unmedicated birth. The hormonal cascade that develops in labor during a natural birth creates a euphoria-like state that results in deep bonding for both mom and baby; the incidence of complications is significantly lower; breastfeeding can be initiated without interruption during a natural birth; and the experience can be deeply life-changing and empowering for the people who do it. We believe firmly in the model of physiologic childbirth, and it’s the way we practice.

We do, however, want to point out that there is a competing point of view that states that all birth is natural- growing a baby and birthing a baby, no matter how you do it, can be viewed as natural. Receiving your baby and parenting them is certainly natural. There are many natural birth aspects to having a baby in a way that looks different than a planned unmedicated birth, and we want to celebrate the moms who give birth either with anesthesia or via Cesarean. Giving birth is a miraculous and profoundly important event- and all moms are natural moms. As home birth midwives, we support people to have natural births at home in the way that feels safe to them. We also respect and love the women who choose to have their babies in a different way, or those who have to change plans prenatally or in labor. Every laboring person gets to decide what’s best for them, and where on the scale of natural birth they want to position themselves.

 May everyone feel health and peace today,

Sarah and Charli